UN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive

UN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive
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The United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria, according to diplomats representing the council's 15 nations.

Reuters reported that the five European nations, including Poland, Britain, France, Germany and Belgium, requested that a meeting be held Thursday.

The meeting comes as the Turkish military began moving against Kurdish forces that were fighting ISIS in northern Syria, just days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE announced that U.S. troops would leave the area.

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement earlier this week condemning reports that Turkish forces would soon move into northern Syria.

“Civilians and civilian infrastructure should be protected,” a U.N. spokesman told Reuters. “The secretary-general believes that there’s no military solution to the Syrian conflict.”

Trump's announcement was condemned by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Washington, who said the Trump administration was abandoning the Kurds, a U.S. ally in the war against ISIS.

“The President’s decision will have severe consequences for our strategic national interests and reduce American influence in the region while strengthening Turkey, Russia, and Iran,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Turkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate MORE (R-S.C.), who has been a strong supporter of the president, wrote in conjunction with Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate Democrats want Warren to talk costs on 'Medicare for All' Meet the dog and 'sea turtle' who launched campaigns for office Senators demand briefing on Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria MORE (D-Del.).

“The decision also dramatically increases the threat to our Kurdish allies, who helped destroy ISIS’s territorial caliphate, and will impair our ability to build strategic alliances in the future," he added.

Trump on Wednesday sought to distance himself from the Turkish offensive.

"This morning, Turkey, a NATO member, invaded Syria. The United States does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea," the president said in a statement.